Thursday, March 16, 2017, 2:56 PM
In conjunction with the March 19-25 Indiana Severe Weather Preparedness Week, Hamilton County Emergency Management plans to participate in two statewide tests of the emergency communication systems on Tuesday, March 21. The goals of Severe Weather Preparedness Week and the emergency tests are to better educate residents about the hazards of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes and to help citizens better prepare in the event severe weather occurs.
Hamilton County's outdoor warning sirens will be activated on Tuesday, March 21 at 10:15AM and 7:35PM as part of the statewide test, unless severe weather is forecasted. During the two tests, Hamilton County will be placed under a Tornado Warning for a short time. This will activate alarms on weather radios, cell phone apps, and other devices. Emergency Management officials encourage everyone to plan ahead for the tests and to participate in the drills so each person knows emergency procedures for work, school, home or travel in the event of severe weather.
Designed as an outdoor warning system, outdoor sirens should not be relied upon to provide sufficient warning indoors or in noisy areas. Air conditioning, thunder, wind, rain, and other conditions can cause the sirens not to be heard indoors and may inhibit hearing the sirens outdoors. Sirens are also subject to lightning strikes and other equipment malfunctions. For these reasons, everyone is encouraged to have multiple ways to receive information about severe weather. Hamilton County officials encourage residents to have an NOAA weather radio at home and at work. Residents should immediately tune into a local television or radio station for further information when hearing a siren or other notification.
Basic criteria to activate the sirens for tornadoes include the National Weather Service issuing a Tornado Warning for Hamilton County, a trained and certified weather spotter reporting a tornado, a tornado reported by a local public safety official, or a dangerous situation occurring which requires citizens to seek shelter immediately.
While Hamilton County Emergency Management officials test and activate the outdoor warning sirens, the sirens are owned and maintained by area cities and towns. There are 75 outdoor sirens around the county: 21 in Carmel and Clay Township, 20 in Fishers along with Delaware and Fall Creek Townships, 20 in Noblesville and Noblesville Township, 7 in Westfield and Washington Township, 3 in Cicero, 1 in Arcadia, 1 in Atlanta, 1 in Sheridan, and 1 at White River Campground. Sirens in each area may be activated independently of other areas when severe weather or other emergencies are imminent in a specific portion of the county.
Weekly testing of the outdoor warning system is planned to resume in March once temperatures remain above freezing. Tests are performed each Friday at 11:00AM unless severe weather is likely to occur.
SOURCE: Hamilton County Sheriff